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Senior Circuit Judge - Designated Family Judge

Closing date:  12 June, 2019 - 13:00

Salary:  £145,614

Location:  1 in Manchester and 1 in Liverpool

The JAC has been asked to identify 2 candidates to recommend for the post of Senior Circuit Judge, Designated Family Judge.

Who can apply

This exercise is open to:

  • Circuit Judges
  • Solicitors and Barristers in England and Wales with at least 7 years post qualification legal experience
  • Recorders and
  • those who have held, as a full-time appointment for at least 3 years, one of the offices listed in Part 1A of Schedule 2 to the Courts Act 1971

Candidates are expected to have previous judicial experience, sitting as a judge in a salaried or fee-paid capacity or a similar role such as the chair of an equivalent body for which a legal qualification is required.

An equivalent body is one of a quasi-judicial nature for which the powers and procedures should resemble those of a court of law and involve highly complex matters, requiring its members objectively to determine the facts and draw conclusions to reach a reasoned decision.  Such decisions could result in the imposition of a penalty, and they are likely to affect the legal rights, duties or privileges of specific parties.  Examples could include, but are not restricted:

a) Coroner

b) Disciplinary tribunals and conduct hearings for professional standards bodies

c) Arbitration

d) Parole Board

e) Chair of a statutory inquiry

The length of judicial experience required is a minimum of 30 completed sitting days since appointment, not including training or sick days.

Only in exceptional cases and if the candidate in question has demonstrated the necessary skills in some other significant way should an exception be made.

It is required that the successful candidate must already be authorised or be suitable for authorisation to the pool of judges upon appointment to act as a judge of the High Court under section 9(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981. Deployment to the High Court Division(s) will be a matter for the respective Head of Division.  

In addition, candidates should be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of 3 years, before the statutory retirement age of 70.

The Commission encourages diversity and welcomes applications from groups currently under represented in the judiciary. The principles of fair and open competition will apply and recommendation for appointment will be made solely on merit.

About the role

The Designated Family Judge (DFJ) carries out significant leadership and management duties. Every Designated Family Centre has a DFJ who is responsible for it and for other family hearing centres in the area. They are responsible for leading all levels of the family judiciary (including other Circuit Judges as well as the district bench, the magistrates and legal advisers) at the courts for which they have responsibility, and for ensuring the efficient and effective discharge of judicial family business at those courts.

The DFJ assists the Family Division Liaison Judge for the circuit in ensuring that each Designated Family Centre and the courts in his or her area are run as efficiently and effectively as possible, within the resources they are allocated, and that the other family judges and the staff at those courts play their part in this. The DFJs will work closely with the Resident Judge and the Designated Civil Judge in their area to discuss and reach agreement on issues concerning the administration of justice across the jurisdictions.

Preparing your application

Throughout the selection process, candidates will be assessed against a competency framework specifically tailored to the role of a Senior Circuit Judge, Designated Civil Judge. The competencies are aligned to the Judicial Skills and Abilities framework used by the judiciary and Judicial College, and lists the ways in which a person demonstrates the required skills and abilities when working effectively in post.

As part of your application you will be required to provide, in no more than 250 words per competency, specific examples that demonstrate how your experiences make you suitable for the role. Further information on completing the self-assessment and choosing the best examples is on the JAC website.

You can also create an online account before you apply. The JAC's online application system requires all candidates to create an account before applying for judicial office. Your account will include your personal, character and diversity profiles. This information is stored on the system so, if you apply for another position in the future, you only need to update your details making the application process quicker and easier.

Sign up for alerts to receive email notifications concerning the progress of this exercise up to launch.